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THE mere mention of Soweto, Masala and Chisokone markets in Lusaka, Ndola and Kitwe respectively to many, generates an imagination of unique trading places with much cheaper goods yet behind the scene some shops offer prohibited cheaper services-illicit sex.
As hordes of people flock to buy various goods that the markets offer, what some customers seem not to be aware of, is the existence of this unique illegal service which is criminalised by Zambian laws.
Under the guise of selling merchandise, some traders at the markets are using the shops as sex dens with clients being charged between K10 and K80 for what is referred to as short time service. According to some sex workers, short time is a single encounter, while other services are negotiable depending on the venue and financial muscle of the patron. Most of these shops used as brothels are those operate as warehouses at night but are empty during the day while other have remained vacant from merchandise specifically for sex business.
These kinds of business also rife at Kasumbalesa boarder post market where people use make shift warehouses locally known as depots. She said illegal liquor stores that have continued unabated to operate at markets have also contributed to an increase in sexual immoralities as most patrons are using the shebeens as brothels whenever they get intoxicated with alcohol. A check by Times revealed that the majority of the patrons are those that have come from far distant areas who have brought merchandise to sell before they go back.
Some with babies and older children have made these shops temporal homes, while they wait to finish selling their goods before they go back to their respective towns.